By Tony Willard
Lenders and dealers are striving to provide clear advice about loans as customers increasingly search online.
There is a growing awareness in the motor retail sector that a rapid increase in information does not necessarily mean retail car buyers are better informed.
Samantha Cripps, sales development manager at Alphera Financial Services UK, said: “A phenomenal amount of information is accessible at the touch of a fingertip relating to vehicles and finance options.
“The overwhelming access to data may leave consumers feeling more uncertain about their options than when they started their search.
"A deal may seem to have the most attractive rate, but not necessarily be the right option.”
Cripps said there would always be a need for a qualified salesperson to walk a consumer through motor finance, ultimately ensuring they made the right decision based on their lifestyle and expectations.
She questioned whether there were any true online consumer comparison sites providing loan quotes and full information about vehicle funding such as HP and PCP.
“There is certainly a place for peer-to-peer information sharing in car buying, but the value a qualified salesperson can add in understanding and explaining finance packages to consumers is significant,” said Cripps.
Close Motor Finance’s website has a toolkit designed to provide all the information needed to make a decision about arranging finance on a car.
Managing director James Broadhead said: “We have conducted customer surveys to help understand how we can improve the information we give.
"We provide dealers with value added services, including guidance on our website of issues that affect dealers and customers.”